One Prime Benefit that Most Amazon Users Overlook

For January 2017

Update January 1, 2017: My Pick for the Month: The Mutual Admiration Society by Lesley Kagen

So why did I pick this one? Just reading the snippet from the first page told me that this narrator was going to be a lot of fun to spend some time with. As a former teacher, the child’s perspective is endlessly interesting to me, and this appears to be a great way to indulge that interest. Will provide an update when a bit further into the book!

Years ago I discovered the value of Amazon Prime. At that time, the main feature of the service was free two-day delivery on most items, including books, which is what I ordered most often. I hadn’t yet started ordering my favorite teas and coffees through the service, nor the trash bags we like and other sundries that we could no longer find at our local grocery.

screenshot-2016-10-01-at-8-53-13-amThen a year or two ago I noticed an email from Amazon inviting me to pick a book that was about to be released to add to my library for free. And these weren’t just any books; they had established authors, most of them, and were available in advance of a significant publisher’s release date. Even more, I could choose from at least six books from different categories like Historical Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Thriller, and Literary Fiction.

Then one month I didn’t see the invitation email. It probably got dumped in my Spam folder or something. So I went looking for my free book, and, truth be told, it wasn’t very hard to find. If you are a Prime subscriber, just hover the mouse over your account button at Amazon, and select “Your Prime Membership” in the dropdown menu.

On the next page, you will see the details of your Prime subscription in the sidebar to the left, and a list of your Prime benefits down the middle of the page. Scroll down until you see “Kindle Books” near the bottom, and click it.  Up will pop the page of book offerings for the current month, offerings that will be available for that month and that month alone, so if you get toward the end of the month and haven’t picked a book be aware that this page will refresh on the first and the current offerings will disappear. I now check this page on the first of every month to make sure I pick my book.

kindle-firstThe program is called “Kindle First.”

Each month, all the books look pretty good to me, even though I have preferred categories that I check out first. Each book is reviewed by an Amazon editor, so you can learn quite a bit right on the Kindle First page. What I do is click through to the full product page, click on “Look inside” and read the first page or two. That helps me easily identify the book for me. Of course, sometimes Amazon’s marketing strategy overwhelms me and I end up reading one book for free and then I purchase another evelyn-after-a-novel-kindle-edition-by-victoria-helen-stone-literature-fiction-kindle-ebooks-amazon-combecause it looks so good. If you do this religiously for a few months, you will build up a library of pretty good free books that are yours to keep and that you can read when the spirit moves you.

So that’s the Prime benefit that many Amazon users overlook. When you view the benefits page, though, you may notice some other cool features that you may want to explore. I just started using Prime Photos, a cloud service with unlimited storage for my photos, and Prime Music, which behaves like Pandora or Spotify depending on how you want to use it. All I know is that I can listen to what I want anytime I want. Heaven! Click here to try Amazon Prime on a 30-Day Free Trial.

Oh, yeah, you will notice something called Prime Video. That’s the one with all the award-winning video content included, a good reason to get Prime all in itself. Enjoy!